Guest blogger: Jenn J McLeod
A thousand words
how strong the
Love is that i have
for you. You are the
Love of my life the one
i want to be my wife.
Without you i dont know how i
would get through. You are my
soulmate my rock my everything.
(transcribed from picture)
I’ve never met Dean or Brianna. I don’t know them and I don’t know if this message was intended as a proposal when Dean wrote it on an ocean breakwall rock, or if he was simply a man expressing his feelings for everyone to see. If it was a proposal, did Brianna say yes? Did she and Dean marry and live happily ever after, or did one of them meet with tragedy, or have an affair, or did they fall out of love with other?
I stood there, staring at the rock, not knowing anything—except the urge to correct his grammar!
I didn’t, of course, but I am a writer, so it was not long before I was answering all those questions in my head as I wandered along Nambucca’s famous V-Wall where there are hundreds of painted rocks, like an accidental art exhibition. Some rocks are painted over and over with new messages and many pieces show real talent, while some, like Dean’s, simply show their soul.
Anyway, the need to get home and start writing meant a speedy trip up the Pacific Highway and back to Coffs Harbour so I could get to work.
The end result is The Other Side of the Season—a story of first love, family love and forever love, and told over two time periods: 1979 and current day. And yes, readers, I am taking you on a sea change with a fictional town I’ve named Watercolour Cove—a place based very much on the Nambucca V-Wall area and the banana plantation hills of Coffs Harbour that I know so well.
Here is a little about the story …
The Other Side of the Season
Everything has a reflection …
And there’s another side to every story.
When offering to drive her brother to Byron Bay to escape the bitter Blue Mountain’s winter, Sidney neglects to mention her planned detour to the small seaside town of Watercolour Cove.
Thirty-five years earlier, Watercolour Cove is a very different place. Two brothers are working the steep, snake-infested slopes of a Coffs Coast banana plantation. Seventeen-year-old David does his share, but the budding artist spends too much time daydreaming about becoming the next Pro Hart and skiving off with the teasing and tantalisingly pretty Tilly from the neighbouring property. His older brother, Matthew, has no time for such infatuations. His future is on the land and he plans to take over the Greenhill plantation from his father.
Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill plantation. One stays—trapped on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and …
… there’s another side to every story.
My thanks to you, Dean and Brianna. The Other Side of the Season is not your story, but if you’re out there somewhere and reading this blog post I hope you got your happy ever after.
And thank you ARRA readers for embracing my stories. I wonder … have you ever confessed your love for someone like this—on a rock, a pencil case, the trunk of a tree? Would you?